ALYOF – February Finish

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My goal was to finish piecing my Virtual Quilting Bee blocks from Diary of A Quilter.  At the time that I made the goal my plan was to include the sashing that Amy had used to complete hers.  Thanks to a few very helpful comments on that post I decided to skip the sashing and go with my first instinct.  I really liked the way they looked without the sashing.  I promise it wasn’t just because I’m lazy.  I also didn’t have a real need for a big quilt and I thought this would look nicer as a spring time throw for my couch.  My only regret was that I didn’t plan to piece it this way from the start.  If that had been my original plan I probably would have placed some of the fabric differently in order to make the secondary pattern stand out more.  I’ll have to remember to consider that next time.

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For the back I used more of Happy Go Lucky.  I took advantage of a great sale and was able to get several yards of this at $6/yd.  Love when that happens.  It felt really good to finish this one.  My goal was to finish piecing the top, but I decided to take it a step further and finish it up with some straight line quilting and I went back to my machine binding for this one.  I did the straight line quilting with my walking foot and it took F O R E V E R.  I never thought I would say this, but I prefer FMQ’ing so much more.  I know a lot of folks use their FMQ’ing foot for the straight line quilting and I think I’m going to give it a try next time.  Even if it isn’t perfect it has to be more fun (and maybe a little faster?).  I’d love some feedback from you guys.  How do you straight line quilt, with the walking foot or the darning foot?  Any tips or tricks?

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

Fabriholics Anonymous – February Check-In

OK, so a couple things happened that resulted in fabric showing up at my house and I had to create one more “exception” to my self-imposed rules, but TECHNICALLY I am still successfully fasting.  So first there was a swap that I had to buy 1/2 yard of fabric for.   My partner had made a specific request so I count this purchase as necessary.   I can’t really say too much more about that because I haven’t sent this item off yet and I don’t want to give too much away.

Then this happened……

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I had nothing to do with this showing up on my doorstep, I swear.  I had mentioned to my sister (who also quilts) that this line had recently come out and that it was going to be one that will make it hard to stick to my fabric fast.  A few weeks later, like magic, it appeared before me 🙂  I did some serious happy dancing!  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months the fabric line is Catnap by Lizzy House.  In addition to my fondness for cats in general, I am especially fond of orange cats and this fabric is just perfection!

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This is Nicky, one of my favorite orange cats..  I haven’t used that lovely stack of Catnap fat quarters yet.  I’m still waiting for the perfect project to come to mind.

So, if you’re keeping score, I had to buy a tiny bit of fabric for a swap (perfectly allowed in my exceptions) and I received a fabric “gift” (also perfectly allowed).  The exception that I need to add is that it’s ok for me to buy fabric for others as a gift.  Because I kinda already did that.

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My mom’s birthday is at the end of March, so this is a really really early birthday present for her.  My mom will be 87 this year and still quilts up a storm.  She spends most weekends at my house, where she has her own sewing machine set up, and we sew together.  Last year we both participated in the Virtual Quilt along hosted by Amy Smart at Diary of A Quilter.  When that ended she asked right away when the next one was.  The holidays kept me too busy to start anything new, but I finally found the next quilt along to share with my mom.  The Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Amanda at Material Girl.   This is the first week of it so it is definitely not too late to join in if you are interested.  It took a lot of restraint to only buy these 2 layers cakes for my mom, but I was a good girl.  I already had a layer cake in my stash that I plan to use for the prints and I will use yardage for the solid.

All in all, I am going to call February a success!  And thanks to loving and generous family it hasn’t been that painful.

Thanks for reading along,

Mara

Triple Zip Completed

Remember all those swap commitments that I posted about a few posts back?  I am officially down to just one left to make!

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I finished these little pretties yesterday.  Only one is needed for the swap, but I find it only adds a little bit of time to make 2 instead of one.   The Triple Zip Flickr group seems to prefer the longer flying geese pouch so that is most likely the one that I will be sending off next week.  I would love to keep the other one.  Aren’t those bikes cute?  But, she is destined for another package.

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I have also finished my social tote for The Sewing Room swap.  Pay no attention to the clover clips.  The binding is now sewn down and the small item is made and all the goodies are packed up and ready to ship.  I will share more pics once my secret partner receives it.

So now I’m down to just one last swap, The Secret Tote Swap.  This is Round 3 and for the first 2 rounds I made the Super Tote by Noodlehead.   Any guesses what I’ll be making this time??  You guessed it, the super tote to the rescue again.  This time it seems to be what my partner would like and I aim to please.  It’s a fun make and there are ways to get creative with it so I plan to have some fun this weekend!  Speaking of Noodlehead, have you seen her latest pattern, the Roadtrip Case.  This is going on my wish list for sure.  Before that though I am hoping to try my hand at the Weekender by Amy Butler.  I have my pattern and I’m hoping to start one I finish the Super tote.

Thanks for reading!

Mara

Bee Block and A Winner

If you are a quilter on IG then you have probably already heard of the #moderninstabee2014  It’s an Instagram bee based on the book Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner and it has taken off like crazy.  The last I heard I believe there were 12 hives started.  The book itself is a fun and informative one.  And since this will be my first bee it was helpful to have the book to help guide me through the process.

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And there you have it.  My very first bee block finished and ready to mail.  I love the colors that our February host has chosen.  I’m thinking I may need to play with these colors some more before I put this fabric back on the shelf.

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The winner of the heart mug rug is #27 Pam S. who wrote:

The quilt and the mug rugs are beautiful! I love the tiny squares and the combination of prints in the mug rug! Thanks for sharing!

I just sent you an email Pam.  Hopefully the temps will go above 10 degrees tomorrow and I’ll be able to make it to the post office and get this delivered by Friday.

Thanks for reading,

Mara

A Valentine Giveaway

So there I was, all sorts of swap projects in various stages of completion and a list that never ends of quilts that I want to make and about 7 quilts that are “almost done”.  So, of course, I thought now would be a good time to make a Valentine quilt.

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I didn’t have a pattern and didn’t really need one.  I used mostly scraps  that I cut at 3.5″ square for the whole squares and 4.5″ for those that I turned into half square triangles.  I had to “make” more low volume scraps from my stash in order to have enough.  I’ve noticed I go through a lot of low volume.  I tend to reach for low volume scraps before I go for my white yardage.  I like the scappy look to it.

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It’s hard to see the pattern on the backing but it’s white with a ton of red hearts in a scribble all over the back.  It was from last years after Valentine’s Day 75% off sale at Joann’s.  It had a nice feel to it so it and I had just enough to use for the backing.

I didn’t really do any calculating prior to making this quilt.  I just cut a “bunch” (that’s somewhere between a few and a lot) of blocks and started piecing.  I ended up with a finished size of 48″ x 38″.  It fits nicely over the back of my couch and it is a perfect little lap quilt. Because I didn’t do any planning, I ended up with several extra blocks.  I cut those blocks into smaller blocks, 1.5″ and made a couple mini heart mug rugs.  Aren’t they cute?

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I have plans for one of these mug rugs, but the other needs a good home.  My goal for the blog was to do one giveaway a month and so far I am right on track.  If you would like to have one of these mug rugs for your very own leave me a comment.  I will pick a random winner on Monday 2/10 and hopefully be able to get it in the mail and delivered by Valentines Day 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Mara

ALYOF February Goal

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Please excuse the poor quality photo.  My design wall is in my basement (along with the rest of my sewing area) and the lighting is not all that great.  Poor lighting or not, this is my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  These are my blocks from the Virtual Quilting Bee  that Amy Smart hosted last year on her blog Diary of a Quilter.  I had a great time making these blocks every other week.  I really don’t know why I stopped when it came time to add the sashing and put it all together.  It’s been taking up space in a WIP box long enough and it’s time to add the sashing and get this top completed.  It would be awesome if I could also baste and quilt it too, but that might be pushing it for February, especially with all my swap commitments.  So, my goal for February is to finish piecing this top.

My mom also participated in this Virtual Quilting Bee and managed to get her quilt completed months ago.  Hmmmm, I guess my procrastination isn’t hereditary.

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She did a beautiful job!

Thanks for reading!

Mara